Why do I do income reports?
I started doing income reports as a way to be more transparent about my business and shed some light on ways that you can grow your own online business, too. I want to show you both what worked for me and what didn’t so that you can apply those lessons to your own dreams. My overall hope is that my income reports inspire or inform you to create and grow your own online biz.
Let’s do this!
Please note that any links below marked by an asterisk (*) are affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase. This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.
- E-Course Sales: $90,700
- Affiliate Income: $10,299
Total Income: $100,999
- PayPal + Stripe Fees: $3,045
- Gusto Payroll Software: $28
- Affiliates: $3,612
- Facebook Ads: $5,540
- Independent Contractors + Employees: $32,558
- Bookkeeping: $529
- MotionMail: $10
- Zapier: $50
- Infusionsoft*: $711
- Health Insurance: $254
- Utilities: $109
- Google Apps*: $17
- Olark: $17
- Teachable*: $299
- Office Supplies: $9
- PlusThis: $79
- Fonts: $55
- Wistia: $225
- GoDaddy: $20
- Meals + Entertainment (for Business): $536
- Conferences, Masterminds, + Education: $5,421
- Business Travel: $1,651
- LeadPages* (annual plan): $477
Total Expenses: $55,252
Net Profit: $45,747
Payroll to Melyssa: $8,611
So what worked? And how was October? Let’s chat.
I spoke at the Converted Conference!
Oh lawwwd, I was so nervous in the days and weeks leading up to this event, but by the time the conference rolled around, I was so excited! Converted is LeadPages’ annual conference, geared toward people who want to up their marketing skills. I spoke about how to teach webinars that grow your income as well as your connection to your audience.
The other speakers are people I personally look up to, like Pat Flynn, Ryan Deiss, Derek Halpern, and Laura Roeder…so I definitely had my moments of, “Did they make a mistake inviting me to speak?! They probably made a mistake and think I’m someone else.” ????
But honestly, as soon as the conference started, those fears and feelings of inadequacy began to dissipate. I actually felt EXCITED to speak because I remembered how much I love presenting and because I was confident that I had valuable information to share.
Embarrassingly, I’ve said “no” to speaking opportunities in the past because I was so nervous, but after this event, I’ve already said “yes” to two new ones because I can’t wait to do it again!
This presentation was a “fireside chat,” so I got to do it with Tim Paige, my co-presenter. Tim is the senior educator at LeadPages (he does all of their webinars) and he is such a kind-hearted human. I’m so glad I was able to work with him on this. 🙂
Basecamp + The Importance of Connection
At the beginning of October, I headed to NYC for Todd Herman’s Basecamp event. I’ve talked about Basecamp before, but it’s a quarterly event — like a mastermind — where we unpack the last 90 days, make a plan for the next 90 days, and then get to work.
To be honest, I haven’t toootally followed Todd’s 90-day model, though I do think it’s a good idea. *grin*
But the event itself (and Todd) is awesome because of the other people who attend. It’s about 30 people in total — the same people each time — and this was our second quarterly meet-up.
I used to think that you could be successful (or even simply happy), by doing things by yourself. By working hard. By “hustling.”
And while I think all of that is still true, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned this year is that success and happiness happen WHEN YOU INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE. I guess some people call this networking? ????
But to me, networking is the wrong word, or perhaps it just feels stale and weird. “Networking” seems like something you do at a dinner party where you hand someone your business card before ever telling them your name. Networking sounds…disconnected.
And I think that’s the part I REALLY learned this year, and that has made a huge difference in my life and business’s growth — it’s not about networking, it’s about connection.
Because “networking” will get you nowhere. Simply going to conference and handing out business cards ain’t gonna cut it.
But building REAL relationships with people where you get to know them on a personal level, where you help each other, and where you genuinely care about them and their success…that’s the secret sauce.
That’s why I enjoy Basecamp so much, and why I have been seeking out more events and masterminds where I have the opportunity to meet people and interact with them in a real way (and especially in a smaller setting).
Because conferences are nice, but smaller events (like workshops or masterminds) can be even better because of the strong relationships you have the opportunity to build.
That’s also why I signed up for Tropical Think Tank, which is a “conference” in the Philippines next March, hosted by Chris Ducker.
If this were a normal conference, I probably wouldn’t attend. But TTT is about a week long, in a different country (cool!), and with a smaller group of a people (I think about 40-50). It wasn’t cheap, but I know it will be worth it because I’ll get to build real relationships with other people. 🙂
I started doing weekly FB lives
I pretty firmly believe that live video (and video in general) is where content creation and marketing are headed. So platforms like Periscope, Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories are rising to the top. And in a similar vein, so are webinars and e-courses.
People LOVE video because it’s more humanizing and often makes things easier to learn and understand.
With that said, I decided to start doing weekly Facebook Live sessions on both my Facebook page and within my Facebook group. I just feel more connected to my audience when I jump on video, so I decided to be consistent about this and do FB lives every week at the same time and day (Thursdays at 11am PST in my FB group and 5pm PST on my FB page, if you’re curious).
I’m so glad I started doing this! I used to do FB Lives randomly and infrequently, which led to lower engagement and just less connection overall. Now that I’m doing them consistently, the engagement has gone way up and I actually look forward to them each week.
They do take quite a bit of time — they’re usually close to an hour each (and I do two in one day), but I still think they’re worth it and I love doing them. 🙂
Fail: Webinar for Facebook Group
Here’s a perfect reason why your Facebook group should supplement your email list, not replace it…
I tried to host a webinar JUST to my Facebook group audience. So, instead of sending out the registration emails to my email list, I only posted them in my Facebook group. I posted almost everyday for a week leading up to the webinar and ultimately…
We had about 200 people register for the webinar and about 20% show up live. (Out of 30,000 people in my FB group at the time).
Compare this to my email list where I tend to get 2,000-3,000 people signed up for my webinars and 45% of registrants show up live.
Overall, we tried this as an experiment to see how it would go, and to see if Facebook groups could convert even close to an email list.
And the result? Nope!
We were still able to do a cool presentation (I brought in Bryan Harris to teach this one and he killed it!), but Bryan and I both realized that getting people to sign up for something through a Facebook group is just nowhere near as effective as using your email list.
I think we both knew this already, but doing this experiment confirmed our feelings.
I hired my first, full-time employee!
Lastly, I got to bring on my first full-timer, Kenny. Woo! The best part about this is that Kenny is a close friend of mine who I’ve known for almost a decade (crazy!). He handles all kinds of things within my business, like customer service, FB group management, operations, etc. If you’ve ever been inside my Facebook group, then you’ve probably seen him — he’s an awesome human!
I’m so grateful that my business has given me the opportunity to hire a friend, and to work with such an incredible team of people. 🙂
Sidenote: if you’re wondering why my independent contractor/employee expense was SO big this month ($32,000 compared to $8,000 last month), then this is because I brought on a few people for an upcoming launch, but I don’t expect that number to continue to be that large after this month.
Here’s how you can take action:
Phew! I feel like I covered a lot in this one. But there are a couple action items I recommend for you, based on some of the lessons I learned in October. Here they are:
- Seek out events, workshops, and meet-ups where you can connect with people on a deeper level. And if you do go to a larger event, like a big conference, set a goal to leave with 1-2 strong relationships, rather than a pocket full of business cards. By the way, these types of events don’t have to cost money. Paid events are nice because often the people who attend them are very serious about their business, but creating a free meet-up can still be a wonderful way to make stronger connections with other people. 🙂
- Host a livestream event once a week (and be consistent). This will result in more engagement and connection with your audience, and the consistency will help it to feel like something to look forward to, rather than a “chore.” If you’re nervous about getting started with live video, try doing very short livestreams to start — like 3-5 minutes. They do NOT have to be long. You can share a quick tip and then sign off. Doing this will help you get used to speaking on live video and you can increase the length as you become more comfortable. 🙂
I hope YOU had a beautiful October and that you discovered some powerful lessons, too.
Got any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m all ears! Let’s chat down below.
p.s. I also have a private Facebook group where I’d love to chat with you and answer your Qs! Click here to join.